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CN 542 with a rather large train passes over the Speed River in Hespeler. Built by the Great Western Railway (Galt and Guelph) it's likely that this bridge was built in 1857 (and possibly upgraded since then). In 2018 not long after the takeover from GEXR CN completely re-decked the entire structure in a move unseen in many many decades. The town ever changing, mills built by the town founder, Jacob Hespeler, are being converted into Condos in the background. That site, later known as an American Standard factory also had direct rail service via the former Grand River Railway's (CP) Hespeler Branch. The GRR/CP Hespeler branch crossed the CN at a diamond behind me and ran along the river to the left of this photo to the mill. In 1991 CN took over direct rail service to the plant when CP Abandoned a portion of the Hespeler branch and eliminated the diamond and signals that protected it. Remnants of the rail line lingered into the early 2000's as crossbucks were still located at the American Standard site on Guelph St despite rails being pulled some years earlier. I'll post some GEXR photos of this bridge later - it was quite scary to watch GEXR Trains cross this structure.Note: Some data sourced from George Roth's book "Steel Wheels along the grand" - copies were once upon a time sold at Credit Valley Railway for those interested in this area. The maps and photos and history are very very much worth the price of admission.
Copyright Notice: This image ©Stephen C. Host all rights reserved.



Caption: CN 542 with a rather large train passes over the Speed River in Hespeler. The Fergus subdivision, now a spur, was built by the Galt & Guelph that was taken over by the Great Western in 1860, and in 1882 absorbed by the Grand Trunk Railway. Still Later in 1923 CN.

First built in 1857, the stone abutments likely dating to around this time maybe +20 years - but per Grand Trunk drawings of the bridge, the steel girder atop was likely installed in 1907 by the GTR. In 2018 not long after the takeover from GEXR CN completely re-decked the entire structure in a move unseen since the end of steam in 1959! The guard rails that survived to the end of GEXR dated to the 1870's.

The town ever changing, of several mills built by the town founder, Jacob Hespeler, one is being converted into Condos in the far right background.

That site, later known as an American Standard steel manufacturing operation also had direct rail service via the former Grand River Railway's (CP) Hespeler Branch.

The GRR/CP Hespeler branch crossed the CN at a diamond behind me and ran along the river to the right of this photo to the mill. In 1991 CN took over direct rail service to the plant when CP Abandoned a portion of the Hespeler branch due to the expansion of the 401. This eliminated the diamond and the Searchlight signals that protected it, but CN installed a switch to run down the embankment to the factory.

Remnants of the rail line lingered into the early 2000's as crossbucks were still located at the American Standard site on Guelph St despite rails being pulled some years earlier.

I'll post some GEXR photos of this bridge later - it was quite scary to watch GEXR Trains cross this structure.

Note: Some data (with additional notes from author added later) sourced from George Roth's book "Steel Wheels along the grand" - copies were once upon a time sold at Credit Valley Railway for those interested in this area. The maps and photos and history are very very much worth the price of admission. There's no way I could have known this without a good paper book - the Internet has nothing on that. Young kids - start collecting books on your favourite railway subjects. You won't regret it!

Photographer:
Stephen C. Host [920] (more) (contact)
Date: 3/1/2019 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CN 1444 (search)
Train Symbol: CN 542-01 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Hespeler (search)
City/Town: Hespeler (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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8 Comments
  1. Thanks again gents. CN’s spending a lot of money on infrastructure in the area – quite staggering. I think 2019 will be full of surprises.

  2. Fantastic image Steve! Love that bridge crossing.

  3. Great shot Steve! Also, thanks for all the historical information on the Fergus Spur. Hopefully, we will see more GMD1′s will return in the future.

  4. Thank you Gents.

  5. Foamy, very foamy.

  6. Excellent Sir.

  7. Thanks – corrected. I am a bit dyslexic at times.

  8. Sweet! I believe the GRR/CPR line would be to the right though.

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